The Alaska state Senate has approved a bill by a vote of 11-7 that would bar abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, from teaching sex education in public schools.
The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Mike Dunleavy (R), would prohibit school districts from contracting with abortion providers or allowing them to provide materials or instruction on human sexuality or sexually transmitted diseases. The measure’s title states it is:
An Act relating to a parent’s right to direct the education of a child; prohibiting a school district from contracting with an abortion services provider; prohibiting a school district from allowing an abortion services provider to furnish course materials or provide instruction concerning sexuality or sexually transmitted diseases; and relating to physical examinations for teachers.
The legislation allows parents to withdraw their children from any activity, class, standardized test, or program to which they object.
“We either have schools that are for education or we have schools for indoctrination,” Dunleavy said Wednesday, reports the Alaska Dispatch. “Parents don’t think we should be sending our kids on the bus to be intercepted by groups who have an agenda.”
Planned Parenthood — which teaches sex education to more than 2,000 children in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, the Mat-Su and on the Kenai Peninsula — and its allies responded to the legislation.
“We should be dealing with the real issues facing Alaskans, not creating barriers and restrictions on youth being able to access the programs they need,” said Jessica Cler, an Anchorage-based Planned Parenthood spokeswoman.
State Sen. Berta Gardner, the Democratic minority leader, said she thought the bill was “terrible policy” and was too broad in banning all Planned Parenthood activity in schools.
“If you want to ban any talk of abortion, say so,” she said.
A legal memo sent to state Sen. Charles Huggins (R) suggested the measure could violate the constitutional rights of freedom of association and expression, and would likely invite a court challenge.
Huggins, however, said that there are legal objections to “almost every bill.”
The measure now has to move through the state House, where state Rep. Lynn Gattis (R) on Wednesday introduced legislation with similar provisions.
In Omaha, Nebraska, however, the board of education recently approved updated Comprehensive Sex Education Standards that include discussion of sexual orientation and gender roles, as well as abortion and emergency contraception. The decision to change sex-education standards caused a firestorm in the school district, with more than a thousand parents attending a public forum last October.
“Your decision is not political. It’s not educational. You have a moral decision to make … I hope you are working from a Bible that is worn out,” said Kathryn Russell, who described herself as a mother, grandmother, Catholic and former Omaha Public Schools employee. “But the curriculum you have, the standards you have, gives too much information. It rapes children of their innocence. Information is important, but this gives too much information.”
Many Omaha parents were irate because the groups behind the standards included Planned Parenthood and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS).
Nebraskans for Founders’ Values had invited psychiatrist and author Dr. Miriam Grossman to Omaha to speak with concerned parents about how to respond to the push for the so-called comprehensive sex-ed program.
In an interview with Breitbart News, Grossman said about 450 people came to hear her speak, including about 100 Hispanic parents.
“The material about drugs and alcohol, and the importance of hard work and hope in the draft standards is actually pretty good,” Grossman said. “But the sex education part of it is drawn from SIECUS, which is the flagship organization – along with Planned Parenthood – of Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE).”
Grossman said she demonstrated to parents in Omaha the medical science that is omitted in CSE.
“For example, the draft that they have in Omaha completely omits any reference to the fact that there are groups that are more vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections and HIV,” she continued. “As usual, they provide this Marxist approach to sexually transmitted diseases, saying, ‘Anyone can get one of these diseases.’ While that is technically true, girls are much more vulnerable than the boys they’re having sex with because of their immature cervix.”
Grossman said she also discussed how certain sexual acts are more dangerous than others.
“The sex-ed draft calls for telling kids about vaginal, oral, and anal sex without specifying that intercourse carries vastly, hugely elevated risks of transmitting HIV – at least 30 times more dangerous,” she explained. “So, they’re omitting lots of medically accurate information that are proven points, and failing to warn young people that when they become sexually active they will become prone – especially the girls – to becoming emotionally attached.”
Grossman added that those pushing CSE claim to tell students they should be abstinent. She cites examples from the Omaha draft:
But, in fact, in 7th grade, for example, what they say is that “Young teens are not physically or emotionally ready for sexual intercourse or the potential consequences associated with it.” But then in 8th grade the draft says, “Dating and romantic relationships can be a way to learn about other people, about romantic and sexual feelings and about what it is like to be in an intimate relationship.
“This is what CSE does, this is what SIECUS and Planned Parenthood do, they claim to promote abstinence, but they don’t define it, so there are some sexual behaviors that would still come under ‘abstinence’,” Grossman said. “It’s really a lie. And here in their draft, they provide to 8th graders actual encouragement – a green light – to become sexually active.”
SIECUS announced the unanimous approval, 9-0, of the new sex ed standards by the Omaha school district, as well as the school board’s eight to one support for the new 10th grade sex-ed curriculum. As a result, sexual abuse will now be taught in 4th grade, “gender identity” and gender roles in 6th grade, and abortion and emergency contraception in 10th grade.
SIECUS also partners with Advocates for Youth, Answer, GLSEN, the Human Rights Campaign, and Planned Parenthood to urge “educators, advocates, and policymakers to take immediate, concrete steps to provide LGBTQ-inclusive sex education for all youth.”